Why I chose to be a foreign exchange student

By Brooke Hisrich — Transferring schools is always stressful. Worrying about a new set of friends in a new location can be terrifying.  Transferring schools, countries, families and languages probably just seems crazy, and it is exactly what I am doing.

I choose to become a foreign exchange student for multiple reasons. First, I have always been interested in different cultures and international events. This originally drove me to join Model United Nations and the event International Extemporaneous Speaking in Speech and Debate.

Second, after the second semester of my freshman year, in Spanish class, Senora Cerrezuela had gotten me hooked on taking my interests abroad. Senora eventually sent me to a guidance counselor and requested a Rotary Exchange application, and the rest is history.

The process of preparing for a year in Argentina has not been without challenges and obstacles. I initially wanted to spend the year in Spain, but South America seemed like the perfect fit for me. Also, I leave for the Southern Hemisphere in less than two weeks and my visa needs to be cleared but has yet to be, and yes my nerves are a little shot.

Right now, I have two very large suitcases packed and I am physically all set to go. All former exchange students say the last days before departure are an emotional rollercoaster, and they were right. I am so anxious to meet my host family and start my new life but leaving my family, friends and school will not be easy.  These last few weeks have been nothing but constant knots in my stomach, but hopefully it will all be worth it with a year that will definitely be remembered.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]